Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries

Miniature Tankard

1690-1691 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This miniature tankard is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.

There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. In 1571, the daughter of Henry II of France ordered a set of small silver ‘pots, bowls, plates and other articles’ to give to a royal child.

The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver
Brief Description
Silver, London hallmarks for 1690-1, mark of George Manjoy
Physical Description
Silver, tapering with the lower part of the body chased with acanthus leaves, croll handle and flat topped lid with double volute thumpiece.
Dimensions
  • Height: 1.625in
  • Width: 1.75in
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Mark of GM for George Manjoy
  • London hallmarks for 1690-1
  • The initials M H scratched on the base
Gallery Label
TANKARD London, 1689-90 Mark of George Manjoy Denton Welch Bequest M.49-1949(26/11/1996)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Denton Welch
Object history
Bequest - Denton Welch

Acquisition RF: 49 / 263
Subject depicted
Summary
This miniature tankard is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.



There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. In 1571, the daughter of Henry II of France ordered a set of small silver ‘pots, bowls, plates and other articles’ to give to a royal child.



The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.
Collection
Accession Number
M.49-1949

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record createdSeptember 10, 2004
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